Owner of Paragon Building Group Josh Mauney was interviewed by WUNC 91.5 Chapel Hill to shed light on the state of the construction industry in North Carolina. Mauney highlighted how recent growth has affected local contractors and how Paragon is adapting to change.
The article comes in response to a nationwide survey of over 1,300 construction firms conducted by the Association of General Contractors. Key takeaways include the 86% of construction firms citing increased difficulty filling craft positions and the 50% calling for a stronger commitment to vocational education for young people interested in the field.
Equally important, however, is the increase in worker competition. In an effort to attract the best talent, many firms are raising base pay rates for craft professionals. That’s good news for prospects, but whether or not it will be enough to entice young professionals into the industry remains to be seen.
Mauney looks toward the future
Paragon President Josh Mauney is looking to that younger generation. He admits there are hiring challenges, but sees potential in exposing young people to vocational work opportunities as early as high school.
“The Triangle needs world-class vocational education to match the world-class higher education that’s currently offered here,” said Mauney. “Young people who aren’t destined for universities need to know that they can have great, well-paying careers in the construction trades.”
The Raleigh-based construction company has already taken steps to create more vocational opportunities for young people right here in North Carolina. Partnering with various organizations across the state, Paragon is creating a breeding ground for talent right in our back yard.
One of those organizations is Vernon Malone College and Career Academy in Raleigh, NC – a career and technical high school dedicated to career- and work-based learning. Mauney applauds Vernon Malone’s Principal Dr. Ashlie Thompson and her staff for their important work.
“What Dr. Thompson and her staff have done at Vernon Malone is create an environment of success that breathes new life into our local economy every day.”
Mauney vows that Paragon will continue to pursue similar partnerships with new and existing clients, trade associations, community colleges and other technical schools in order to expand upon the already-growing vocational initiatives in the area.
“We want to ensure that general contractors and specialty subcontractors have access to the best talent in the industry and that job-seekers have the training that these partner companies want.”
What 2016 has in store for the construction profession is unclear. Nevertheless, one forecast persists: the younger generation will be vital in the prosperity of the industry in coming years. And no one is more prepared than Paragon Building Group.